Things I am learning

These are some of the things I am learning bit by bit.

Pregnancy is painful. Or at least was painful until very recently. The pain caused by the pressure on my diaphragm last week was so bad I was in tears, convinced I was suffering from a terrible bout of gastro. (That was actually caused by the laxatives I took to deal with the side effects of the painkillers to treat the headaches that were a side effect of the blood pressure tablets to deal with the side effects of being pregnant).


As it turns out, a C-section is even more painful. I knew this from the experiences of friends and family, but nothing quite prepares you for that twisting knife in the gut feeling. It’s like particularly brutal period pain. No wonder you’re not supposed to drive for 6 weeks. Right now, I walk with a slight stoop and the occasional wince. Getting out of bed requires a steering committee, a ten-point plan and a winch.


Painkillers are good. I like painkillers.


There is a lot of blood. After not bleeding for however long you were pregnant, it’s as if your body makes up for it in one fell swoop. Which brings me to: Maternity pads. I had no idea. Apparently some medical professionals call them surfboards… for good reason, because if they came with wings they’d be suitable for intercontinental flight. (Oh, and they also make you invest in linen savers for your bed. Birth is not dignified.)


Breastfeeding ranges between bloody difficult and completely impossible. I knew this thanks to my sister’s challenges and the fact that there are lactation consultants, but hoped I’d have a lucky escape. I’m still battling to pump anything. Peak boob se gat. I’ve been given loads of Eglonyl, which happens to be an anti-psychotic prescribed for schizophrenia as well as a lactation drug. How’s that for multitasking?


Your post-partum body is a war zone. This morning, I allowed myself to look at my naked reflection in the bathroom mirror. It was awful. I wasn’t full term, so it doesn’t look as if I was pregnant now that the baby has vacated the premises – just saggy and bleaugh, like Vicky Pollard’s slightly more useless big sister. Now, a roll of flesh droops unceremoniously over my bikini line, where the scar stretches like a bolt of black lightning. I look revolting and will probably have to wear baggy clothing for some time.

If I find out anything more, I’ll keep you in the loop.

4 thoughts on “Things I am learning

  1. We are driving back from Clarens and I’ve just explained your story to my husband. Between my heart bleeding for what you’ve been through and the snorting about your surfboard maternity accessories, we have had quite an eye opening, emotional, hilariously funny drive so far. I’m feeling blessed and pray that this learning phase of your life (just when you thought your brain was quite full already), brings about more things you can laugh at, or about and that the ask these experiences continue to inspire your gift of writing. Xxx


  2. Yes, well, dignity will be on hold in your life for some time, I am afraid. Children (and all that goes along with them) are like that. But you will learn to enjoy it just the same!


  3. Sarah…i’m the mom of a previous 32 weeker, 1.3kg……… Damn blood pressure….was following your story on twitter and could feel the stress in my gut. I’ve been there!!!!!

    My prem is now a very healthy almost 8yr old….but I still get chills thinking about ‘that time’

    Keep doing what you can with your new best friend (the pump)… And know that the milk will come around day 4/5. Then things will improve. Allthough you will hate that pump forever. We managed to eventually progress to full bf after weeks of pumping…

    Kangaroo as much as humanly possible….it really really helps to bond/to gain weight (her not you)…

    Argh….if you need to chat…I can do that too…. Because….I KNOW! and it is tough


  4. Once you have had your first child, your need for a hospitalong gown at a dr’s appointed sharply decreases. You kinda just don’t care. Well, I don’t.

    I got breastfeeding right with only one child and breastfeed her first two years. The others, nope. Nothing.

    Thank you for being real. xxx


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